A life without limits

Chrissie Wellington

A free public talk by Chrissie Wellington, MBE in association with the Centre for Sport, Exercise and Health

This event took place on Monday 25 November 2013

Chrissie Wellington MBE is a multiple World Champion and World Record holder in 'Ironman' triathlon: a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and a marathon - all completed on the same day.  And if you are Chrissie Wellington, in well under 9 hours.  Chrissie talked about her involvement in sport, her own "life without limits" and how all of us - in any area of life - can achieve things we never thought possible.


Chrissie Wellington is four-time World Ironman Champion and also the World Record holder for the ironman distance. In 2009 she was voted 'Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year' and in 2010 was awarded an MBE.

She won her World Ironman Championships in 2007 in her first year as a pro. It was described as the 'biggest upset in Ironman history' and 'a remarkable feat, deemed to be near impossible task for any athlete racing as a rookie at their first Ironman World Championships'. She defended her World Championship title in Hawaii in 2008 and again in 2009. However a bout of severe sickness on the evening of the 2010 event meant she was unable to make the start line to defend her title. She bounced back in 2011 to retain her title in her most fiercely competitive race to date, which added another fantastic chapter to her extraordinary sporting career.

She is undefeated at the ironman distance, winning 13 events out of 13. She holds all three world and championship records relating to Ironman distance races. This included setting a new World Record of 8:19:13 at Challenge Roth in Germany in 2010, which slashed over 14 minutes from the previous record and where she was only beaten by six men. She went on to improve the World Record by another minute a year later, in 2011.

In addition to the Ironman titles, she was also the 2006 ITU Age Group World Champion and the 2008 ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Champion.

Before becoming a professional triathlete, Chrissie worked for the UK Government as a policy adviser on international development and on development projects in Nepal. Development issues remain one of her passions, and she is an active patron for a number of charities in UK and overseas, as well as being an accomplished motivational and public speaker and a passionate advocate on issues related to women and sport, including being part of an UK Government all party parliamentary committee on women/sport. She published her autobiography, A Life Without Limits, in February 2012, which went straight to Number 1 on the Sunday Times Best Seller list.

Wellington strives to use her platform to inspire all those around her, especially women. “I want to lend hope to women that anything is possible and make them realize that they can strive for more”. She seeks to be so much more than an athlete, instead attempting to empower everyone she meets, and challenge them all to test themselves and reach for the stars.